Mineral Wells, WV - RIS - Dresden, Ohio racer Donnie Moran used the knowledge gained from many previous races around the 5/8 mile West Virginia Motor Speedway to lead 100 laps and take home his second win of the 1997 HAV-A-TAMPA Dirt Racing...
Mineral Wells, WV - RIS - Dresden, Ohio racer Donnie Moran used the knowledge gained from many previous races around the 5/8 mile West Virginia Motor Speedway to lead 100 laps and take home his second win of the 1997 HAV-A-TAMPA Dirt Racing Series. The "King of the Mountain" title was worth over $25,000 to Moran and helped to keep him in the middle of the battle for the National Points title.
"The car's been working good all year and it's all kinda turned around for us," Commented Moran from Victory Lane. "They said (on the radio) that (Jack) Boggs was getting closer, and our tires were going away a little bit and we were just trying to hang on. We were just lucky to hold him off at the end."
Moran started outside the front row, alongside pole sitter Todd Andrews, and on the first lap he ran deep into turn three and swept down off the banking in turn four to take the point. Moran faced an early challenge from current points leader Billy Moyer, but Moran was equal to this challenge and soon opened up a comfortable lead over Moyer and the rest of the field. With only 30 laps to go, Jack Boggs worked his way around Steve Francis taking over third place. He then closed on, and passed Moyer to take second and began to close the gap on Moran. By lap 85 the lead was down to 10 car-lengths and then ten laps later Boggs was on the tail of Moran and looking for a weakness. The cars swept around the track Nose-to-tail until lap 92 when Boggs began to make a serious challenge for the lead down the front stretch. Again on lap 93 Boggs attempted the pass, but again he was doomed to failure as Moran suddenly found some extra speed in his GM Performance Parts Camaro and began pulling away to take the win. It was the third career victory for Moran on the HAV-A-TAMPA tour.
Boggs, who took home a paycheck of over $10,000, was followed across the line by Bart Hartman, Billy Moyer and Wendell Wallace. Both Hartman and Wallace made late race charges to reach the top five positions they occupied at the checkers. Rounding out the top ten were Francis, Andrews, Rick Eckert, Gary Stuhler and Skip Arp.
There were 59 of the top dirt Late Model drivers who tried to make the 25 car starting field and many of the biggest names in dirt track racing packed their car up early and headed for home. Among those were Steve Russell, Bill Frye and Johnny Virden, all of whom rank in the top ten in the national points chase. Other top names that tried and came up short included ex-NASCAR Winston Cup driver Rodney Combs, Ray Cook, Charlie Swartz, Mike Head Mark Miner, and Marshall Green.
Only two other races on the HAV-A-TAMPA tour offer a higher purse than that of the "King of the Mountain 100". The "USA National 100" which pays the winner in excess of $30,000 while posted winnings for the "HAV-A-TAMPA Shootout" has already exceeded $73,000. The fourth "crown Jewel" of the HAV-A-TAMPA tour will be held on Labor day weekend at Atomic Speedway and will pay the winner over $20,000.
With one third of the season complete, the entry list of HAV-A-TAMPA series events has averaged 58 cars per event and 291 drivers attempted to make the features, with 99 making it into at least one feature line-up.
The HAV-A-TAMPA Series now takes three weeks off before returning to action with a doubleheader at Hagerstown Speedway as part of Hagerstown's 50th Anniversary celebrations.
John Kaiser, Racing Information Systems
"King of the Mountain 100" Race Results Driver Hometown Laps Money Won 1. Donnie Moran Dresden, OH 100 $25,600 2. Jack Boggs Grayson, KY 100 $10,150 3. Bart Hartman Zanesville, OH 100 $6,000 4. Billy Moyer Batesville, AR 100 $4,600 5. Wendell Wallace Batesville, AR 100 $3,900 6. Steve Francis Ashland, KY 100 $2,800 7. Todd Andrews Duke Center, PA 100 $2,500 8. Rick Eckert York, PA 100 $2,250 9. Gary Stuhler Greencastle, PA 100 $2,000 10. Skip Arp Georgetown, TN 100 $2,400 11. Steve Shaver Parkersburg, WV 100 $1,600 12. Mike Bolzano Parkersburg, WV 100 $1,400 13. Ronnie Johnson Chatanooga, TN 99 $1.350 14. Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN 99 $1,300 15. Bob Pierce Danville, IL 99 $1,250 16. David Gibson Ash Flat, AR 99 $1,250 17. Clint Smith Griffin, GA 99 $1,675 18. Freddy Smith Knoxville, TN 99 $1,900 19. Dale McDowell Rossville, GA 98 $1,100 20. C.S. Fitzgerald Lexington, VA 98 $1,100 21. Gar Dickson Flintstone, GA 97 $1,075 22. Scott Hartley Ravenswood, WV 78 $1,050 23. Tim Hitt Weston, WV 65 $1,025 24. Davey Johnson Greensburg, PA 31 $1,000 25. Earl Pearson, Jr Jacksonville, FL 23 $1,000 ISKY Racing Cams Fast Gun Award - Billy Moyer 22.642 secs/99.379mph
HAV-A-TAMPA National Points Standings after 11 of 32 events 1. Billy Moyer 1718 11. Marshall Green 1289 2. Wendell Wallace 1666 12. David Gibson 1287 3. Freddy Smith 1614 13. Ray Cook 1209 4. Donnie Moran 1548 14. Gar Dickson 1048 5. Dale McDowell 1468 15. Robbie Starnes 935 6. Clint Smith 1452 16. Kenny Merchant 894 7. Skip Arp 1374 17. Ronnie Johnson 881 8. Steve Russell 1362 18. Steve Francis 855 9. Bill Frye 1357 19. Mark Miner 812 10.Johnny Virden 1330 20. Earl Pearson, Jr. 741
John Kaiser, Racing Information Systems